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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2000 Mar 11;144(11):502-5.

[Insufficient scientific evidence for efficacy of widely used electrotherapy, laser therapy, and ultrasound treatment in physiotherapy].

[Article in Dutch]

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  • 1Instituut voor Extramuraal Geneeskundig Onderzoek, Faculteit der Geneeskunde Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam.


The Dutch Health Council recently published a report on the efficacy of electrotherapy, laser therapy and ultrasound treatment for musculoskeletal disorders. The assessment was based on three systematic reviews, including 169 randomized clinical trials, and focused on a best-evidence synthesis. Virtually no conclusive clinically relevant effects of the three forms of physical therapy were found. Possible exceptions are electrotherapy for osteoarthrosis of the hip or knee, laser therapy for pain treatment and rheumatoid arthritis, and ultrasound treatment for epicondylitis lateralis. But even for these putative indications, further research is clearly needed before implementation in practice is justifiable. It is strongly recommended that the current widespread use of electrotherapy, laser therapy and ultrasound treatment should be reduced, preferably by self-regulation within the profession itself.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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